Atlanta Falcons' Jacquizz Rodgers (22) celebrates his touchdown catch against the Carolina Panthers with teammate Joe Hawley (61) during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011. AP
FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons’ plan to add more “explosive” plays appears to be paying off.
Last season, the Falcons had only 32 pass plays of 20 yards or more — the team’s definition of an explosive play — which was 31st in the league. They had just six plays of 40 yards or more last season, which ranked 22nd.
Through 13 games, they have 46 pass plays of 20 yards or more, which ranks ninth overall in the league. Quarterback Matt Ryan has eight plays that have gone for 40 yards or more, which ranks him tied for eighth in the league.
The Falcons used two explosive plays from key additions to fuel their 24-0 second-half rally in the 31-23 win over Carolina on Sunday. Julio Jones had a 75-yard touchdown catch and running back Jacquizz Rodgers had a 31-yarder